It wasn’t perfect, despite what the scoreboard and box score says, but it was a great first step for Notre Dame football.
Brian Kelly’s group had their opener in Dublin on Saturday, and with a 50-10 crushing of Navy, things were stress-free. Notre Dame jumped out to an early lead thanks to a handful of big plays, and this one was over shortly after it started.
No sideline eruptions, no purple-face television cameos, no major blowups.
However, the Play of the Game honors go to this man, who hopped onto the field to show off a little Irish dance.
To be quite honest, this was the only real play worth noting after the first quarter.
All eyes were on Notre Dame starting quarterback Everett Golson, and he played well. He had a handful of cringe-worthy throws into traffic—one of which was picked off—but he looked calm, controlled and comfortable through most of the game. Going up against a Navy defense will help, as does having a running game.
For the day, the Irish ran the ball 46 times for 293 yards (a 6.4 average) and found the end zone five times. If you do that, chances are you’ll walk away with the win.
The defense was also stellar overall, especially the front seven. Manti Te’o was everywhere, and he showed us once again why he’s the best linebacker in the country. Seriously, he’s special. Enjoy him, Irish fans.
We also got a glimpse at Notre Dame’s thin secondary, and our brief window into this weakness against a triple-option team wasn’t pretty.
Anytime you win 50-10 you can say the D played well, but pass-happy teams such as Oklahoma, USC and others down on their schedule will have a field day against this team if it doesn’t improve.
As a whole, Notre Dame can enjoy the long flight home. Once they land, however, it’ll be all business. We’ll learn a lot more about this team the following Saturday, as a scrappy and surprisingly speedy Purdue team will greet them in South Bend.
This was a fantastic first step and a very positive way to kick off the season. It certainly beats last year, and it’s no doubt better than the jail cell the field-stormer will spend the rest of his weekend in.
Heck of a dance, though.
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